How to Install a Mass Storage Driver

By Andrew Todd

Most mass storage devices will be installed automatically once plugged into the computer.
i flash drive image by jimcox40 from

Prior to using an external hard drive, USB flash drive or any other type of mass storage device, you will need a driver for the device installed on the computer. A driver is the software that tells the computer and the installed device how to interact. Almost all modern mass storage devices are plug-and-play, meaning that once the device is plugged into the computer, the computer will automatically install its drivers.

Plug the mass storage device into the computer using the FireWire cable or USB ports on each device. Once connected, the drive should automatically install. An information balloon will appear above the Task Bar indicating that the drivers are being installed, and one will appear again once the installation is complete.

Open the Start Menu and click "My Computer" or "Computer," depending on your version of Windows. If the mass storage device appears in the "My Computer" or "Computer" window, then the drivers are correctly installed and the device is ready to use. If the drive does not appear, you must manually install the drivers.

Locate the manufacturer and model of the mass storage device. This information will be located on the product packaging or on the information sticker located on the bottom or rear of the device.

Go to the manufacturer's website in your Web browser and enter the model number of the device in the product search box. If you are unsure of the website, perform a search in your favorite search engine for the manufacturer's website.

Click on the device in the search results and click on the tab for downloads or support.

Download the correct drivers for your operating system.

Open the Start Menu and right-click on "My Computer" or "Computer" and click "Properties."

Click "Device Manager" from the top left of the "Properties" window or from the "Hardware" tab located at the top.

Double-click "Unknown Devices" in "Device Manager," right-click on the mass storage device and click "Update Driver."

Choose the option to locate the driver and click "Browse" to open the file browser. Chose the file that was downloaded and click "Open."

Follow the installation instructions to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, the device will be ready to use.